Over the last few years, most discussions about the next year’s Digital Transformation trends had begun to feel a bit repetitive: Cloud, Edge Compute, the IoT, AR… It always seemed like the same chairs being rearranged around the same old room. Among them: 5G, AI, advanced data analytics, but also some that may surprise you.
Here are few areas on which Daniel Newman wrote for forbs.com on Digital Transformation trends.
Analytics is a Competitive Advantage:
Companies that still aren’t investing heavily in analytics by 2020 probably won’t be in business in 2021. There is simply far too much valuable customer data to be collected, processed and turned into insights for any company to remain competitive without making full use of modern analytics tools. Flying blind and following your gut are no longer viable options when every other business is leveraging sophisticated analytics tools to identify problems, opportunities, and solutions. That’s why we are seeing a consolidation of analytics capabilities across the tech world, from Salesforce acquiring Tableau, to Microsoft creating its own Power Platform. Every major tech company has already figured out that the future is in data—most specifically, the real-time processing of it – and so, regardless of what industry you’re in, analytics will again be one of the most dominant focal points of digital transformation in 2020.
Blockchain moves beyond Crypto:
In 2020, We believe that we will finally start to see the scale for some meaningful use cases for blockchain beyond cryptocurrency. We know that Amazon Web Services democratizing blockchain technology with their subscription-based blockchain-as-a-service platform. And they are not alone in this effort. Many other global leaders are also playing in this space, including Samsung, Microsoft, IBM and China’s Alibaba. What’s more, we are beginning to see real use cases for the technology beyond payments and cryptocurrencies. Look to how blockchain will be used in food safety, intellectual property and royalties, and real estate/asset management for instance. 2020 could be the start of the true rise of Blockchain.
RPA catches a second wind:
Robotic Process Automation isn’t new and is widely considered to be the lowest hanging fruit on the AI tree, but it is nevertheless a very hot topic at every tech and manufacturing conference. Attended RPA leads the way but as interest and investments continue to grow, and RPA proves itself trustworthy, we believe that 2020 will be a very big year for RPA investments, just as 2019 was with money being poured into companies like Automation Anywhere, UiPath and Blue Prism. Also, enterprise companies like Cisco are already using RPA to help create wiggle room to upskill and augment the value of their existing workforce, and that model is certain to quickly grow into a winning formula.
Conversational AI becomes a legitimate interface:
We know, Siri still sucks (mostly), and it’s still near-impossible to use voice-to-text to craft a decent chat message. However, We do believe we’ll see at least some form of conversational AI become useful in 2020. On the software side, projects like Microsoft Conversational AI are working incredibly hard to build platforms that cannot just hear correctly, but follow complex conversations and understand the nuances of emotion, all while continuing to improve over time. On the silicon side, chipsets and SOCs developed specifically for smart devices are becoming exceptionally good at isolating human voices from noisy backgrounds, and accurately processing natural language in real-time. Will we see radical improvements in everyday consumer tech in 2020? Likely no—but we think that the foundations for the next generation of reliable conversational AI will be solidified in the coming year.
– Daniel Newman for Forbes.com
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